Minnesota Wild fire Todd Richards


Todd Richards can now be added to the ever growing list of coaches fired since last Sunday when the NHL season came to an end. On Saturday, hours after playing their final game, the Ottawa Senators fired coach, Cory Clouston, which was followed the next day by the Florida Panthers doing the same thing by giving coach Peter DeBoer his walking papers. On Monday the Minnesota Wild, who finished 12th in the Western Conference with 86 points, decided to follow suit by firing coach Richards. The turning point for Richards came last month when his team went through a miserable eight game losing streak. Their high point came at the all-star break when they were fifth in the west and looked prime to make post season for only the fourth time in their 10 year franchise history. Unfortunately fans and management saw them post a 2-10-1 from March 10 through to April, before winning their remaining two games. “He’s naturally disappointed, as was I …and it wasn’t easy,” said Wild GM, Chuck Fletcher. “Our relationship goes back a few years, and we’ve been through a lot of good times and good seasons. This did not end the way either one of us wanted.” Over his two year tenure as Minnesota’s coach, Richards posted a 77-71-16 record and never made the post season. Fletcher, who recently received a vote of confidence from owner, Craig Leipold, stressed that he was not pursuaded by anyone to fire Richards. Upon taking the reins a couple of years ago Richards stressed bringing a more up tempo style, with a strong forecheck, while emphasizing strong puck possession. Unfortunately their play never improved and key injuries and a lack of depth proved to be their downfall. “I really do believe in sports that not every coach is the right fit for every team,” Fletcher said. “Teams have different personalities. There’s different talent levels, and not every coach fits with every team. … I felt that to get the most out of this group of players — certainly the players that are coming back — we needed a new voice, and a new direction. It’s as simple as that.”


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